Wales call on Scarlets mentor

Tue, 15 Jan 2013 11:54
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Scarlets attack coach Mark Jones will join the Wales set-up for the forthcoming Six Nations tournament as Rob Howley's side look to retain their title.

Scarlets attack coach Mark Jones will join the Wales set-up for the forthcoming Six Nations tournament as Rob Howley's side look to retain their title.

The 33-year old former wing with Scarlets and Wales who has 47 international caps to his name and 164 appearances for his region, has been coaching the Scarlets with great success since he retired from rugby in 2010.  

Jones will join Howley and his coaching team for the duration of the Six Nations Tournament as assistant coach (backs) before returning back to his region. Jones has also been signed up by Wales this summer for their two-Test tour of Japan.

The role for Mark Jones is seen as an opportunity to boost the dynamic skills coach's career development as well as offering a proven level of expertise to the international coaching mix and a fresh outlook and new ideas to benefit Wales.

Jones said:  "I'm very grateful to the Scarlets for allowing me to take this exciting opportunity. It can only benefit the region if I push myself forward, take on new challenges and develop further as a coach.

"It will help me gain new ideas and experience which I believe will benefit my full-time role with the Scarlets.

"It will be a privilege to work with the Welsh team and a group of talented international players and coaches. To be part of your national rugby set-up as a player or a coach is a huge honour and it's valuable to have close working links between the region and the WRU," he added.

Jones said he was looking forward to working with the international players, many of them known well to him from the Scarlets but also some new faces from across the four regions.

He said: "It's a great opportunity to get a different perspective from working with a wide range of international players and to get their views as well getting some fresh ideas.  All of this I hope will be good for the Scarlets in the long-term."

Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby said the region fully supported the opportunity that Jones has been handed with Wales.

He commented:  "Mark has a lot to offer - he's a coach with a great enthusiasm for and commitment to the game in Wales. He'll work hard with Wales but will also stay in close contact with us and support our progress because it's so important to him.

"Developing and challenging ourselves as coaches and players is a key philosophy in our region. Mark will come back to us with new experience, ideas and confidence which will only benefit the Scarlets," he explained.

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